Tina Tyler

Jayson Romaine
Tina Tyler made her hardcore debut as a performer in "Video Virgins," the 1992 orgasm epic that has spawned 20 sequels and counting. She also landed a role in the first "Face Dance" film from John Stagliano and the first "Casanova" from Sin City, helping to launch both successful series. She has since gone on to star in just under 200 films.

Along the way, Tyler also has moved behind the camera, directing "Tina Tyler's Favorite Blow Jobs" in 1998 as well as a host of behind-the-scenes footage for Red Light District.

It was at Red Light that Tyler met Lexington Steele. By the time Steele launched his own production company, Mercenary Pictures, Tyler already had more than a dozen directorial credits to her name. Her track record and the quality of her productions were enough to convince Steele to sign Tyler as one of Mercenary's contract directors.

XBiz Video sat down with the star-turned- director recently to find out where she came from and where she plans to go with her new gig.

XB: How did you get started in the adult entertainment industry?

Tina Tyler: I started as a stripper in my native Canada when I was 19. It took me eight years to make my way to Los Angeles, where I started doing magazine shoots and eventually porn. It was a photographer on a shoot for High Society who was my gateway into doing movies. My first scene was on Sept. 12, 1992, with Sean Michaels and Jake Steed.

XB: What is your primary motivation for being in the business?

TT: At first, it was to get some paid acting jobs. Now it's to create porn that is intimate, yet hot and nasty at the same time. It's been very empowering sitting in the director's chair. I get to shoot what I want to see.

XB: When did you first get interested in directing?

TT: In 1998, I was shopping for a directing gig. They weren't as easy to come by then as they are now. I realized that if I wanted to do this, I'd have to create my own opportunity and fund a shoot — or three — I did. Then I shopped for a distribution deal. I was lucky. I found a deal at OGV, the first place I went.

XB: How did you get involved with Lex Steele and Mercenary?

TT: Lex and I had known each other for a little while, before he decided to start his own company. I had shot some of his behind-the-scenes footage when he was with Red Light. When he called to offer me the gig at Mercenary, it not only came out of the blue, but at the perfect time.

XB: What was the first film you directed? How many have you directed so far?

TT: The first title was "Tina Tyler's Favorite Blow Jobs" back in 1998. At this point, I have 16 or 17 titles under my belt, so to speak. I'm currently shooting four lines for Mercenary Pictures: "Iron Head," "Fresh Out The Box," "Handyman" and "Black Moon Rising," the last two coming in February and March, respectively.

XB: What would you say you bring to the table as a director? Has your experience as a performer helped in this arena?

TT: I'm not trying to shock anyone. Nor am I trying to reinvent the wheel. I'm just shooting beautiful people having hot sex. I think my experience in front of the camera helps in that I'm able to communicate what I'm looking for a little easier. Also, I think that talent has a little more trust in you when they know you've been where they are.

XB: What do you think are some mistakes people make when putting together an adult film?

TT: Isn't anyone casting with chemistry in mind anymore? For me, chemistry is what makes a scene strokable. If I can tell that one partner is repulsed by the other, then I'm onto the next scene, and my fast-forward button is that much busier.

XB: Who are some stars you've worked with that really impressed you?

TT: I generally don't like to name names, as folks tend to get upset if they don't see their names mentioned. However, there was one star that is worth mentioning: Chyanne Jacobs impressed the hell out of me. I shot her in her first DP for "Fresh Out the Box 2," and she was a champ.

XB: Who are some stars you'd like to work with but haven't yet?

TT: I'd love to shoot Lauren Phoenix. She inspires me on a lot of levels.

XB: Open question: What is hot?

TT: I'll tell you what's not hot — Paris Hilton, and anyone who still says, "That's hot."